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Lindsey Stirling demonstrating the unifying power of music on latest tour

The platinum-selling instrumentalist brings her Artemis Tour to Chicago on Tuesday, a tour emphasizing the importance of human connection and acceptance.

Lindsey Stirling headlines Northerly Island on Aug. 10.
Lindsey Stirling headlines Northerly Island on Aug. 10.
Sydney Takeshta

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Lindsey Stirling concert on Aug. 10 was canceled due to weather. Per a Tweet from the venue, the show has been rescheduled to Aug. 20. Ticketholders are being notified via email.

Lindsey Stirling is excited about marking her first concert appearance in Chicago since her 2017 Lollapalooza performance.

“Getting to now stand on stage and perform music and see what it means to people in-person after so long makes me remember how powerful music is to not only connect people,” said Stirling, an Arizona native. “It’s a language that goes beyond words.”

The show, scheduled for Tuesday, is one of 35 that Stirling has as part of her Artemis Tour (which is scheduled to end Sept. 10 at Milwaukee’s Summerfest). The show features tracks from Stirling’s fifth and latest album, “Artemis,” which debuted in September 2019 at No. 1 on Billboard’s dance/electronic albums chart before the pandemic rocked the live entertainment industry into desolation for over a year. Kiesza, an uptempo Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist who transcends genre, will join Stirling in her Chicago show, performing songs from her latest album, “Crave.”

Stirling’s tour name is inspired by the Greek goddess Artemis, a huntress with a wild nature and proclivity to dance. Stirling is known for her ability to draw her bow across the strings of her violin with an electric enthusiasm while dancing en pointe in a modern ballet style.

“This tour and this album is all inspired by [the ‘Artemis’] comic book that I wrote,” Stirling said. “It really gives a new life to the whole process of writing and touring. ... And it’s been especially fun trying to bring that story to life, not only through the music videos, but then to really think outside the box for the tour, from the costuming to the videos we play on the screen to the style of dancing we do. It makes for a very entertaining, colorful show.”

Her tour costumes are reminiscent of a wilderness left behind in the modernization of society. Folklore is ever-present in the thematic approach, fused with electronic dance music and classical violin. The set is bold and colorful, pulling from the storyline of her comic book series to bring light to her life and others’ during dark times.

Lindsey Stirling in a promotional photoshoot for her North American tour, Artemis.
Lindsey Stirling says her battle for perfection is something she has long dealt with, driving her to anorexia, and ultimately overcoming her eating disorder through therapy.
Sydney Takeshta

“We’ve all been so deprived of these kinds of experiences and interactions, so there is just this really special feeling of gratitude that’s very powerful and very tangible,” Stirling said. “Even if you don’t come to my show, I highly recommend going to anyone’s show at this time because I think it’s a special time that won’t last forever. It’s something that anyone who experiences it is going to remember for the rest of their life.”

Stirling has been in the spotlight for more than a decade, getting her start as one of the first YouTube music sensations and appearing on “America’s Got Talent” in 2010.

Over the course of the past year (Stirling had not performed since 2019), she said she’s battled with a feeling of inadequacy. The first few tour shows were the most difficult because of that struggle; she cried in her dressing room after performing.

But her battle for perfection is something Stirling said she has long dealt with, driving her to anorexia, and ultimately overcoming her eating disorder through therapy.

“Now when I feel those feelings, I get reminded that I’m stepping onto the stage in the wrong way, if I’m stepping on the stage worrying that people are going to think I’m not enough,” Stirling said. “The show is about them — the fans. I really hope that when people hear my music they believe they can fight, because we often build the box that we live in.”

She continues to promote her nonprofit charity, The Upside Fund, to help families in need during the ongoing pandemic.

In Stirling’s spare time, she enjoys watching the TV show “Nashville” because of its authentic depiction of the music scene and multi-dimensional characters. Her guilty pleasure, though, is hit sitcom “New Girl.”

“I’m very excited to come back to Chicago,” Stirling said. “Back in the day before I ever had a band and I was just playing on my own with an iPod and a violin, one of the first shows I ever did was a showcase in Chicago. I’ll never forget that I walked a long way to Lou Malnati’s and learned I could only order a really large pizza and not eat by the slice. I asked a random guy on the street if he would like to split a pizza with me. I still have him in my phone as Chicago Tom.”